from a discovery he started researching in 2006. shinya yamanaka conducted his research here and in japan. the president of the institute and other researchers held a video conference with yamanaka who is still in japan this morning. his prize is in medicine and for his discovery that human skin cells can be reprogrammed so they can take on the properties of any other cells of the body. it was kind of difficult to hear yamanaka this morning. he said he was thankful for all the support he's received here. >> i think i'm very lucky because i was able to join them 30 years ago. >> this was a revolution in biology. no one thought it worked this way. that with just turn ag few switches you could create such a profound change in the identity of the cell, and this swept the world. >> reporter: these are pictures given to us by ucsf this morning. the potential benefits, researchers say, include better drug discovery, tailoring of the right medicine to the right patient and improved regenerative medicine, particularly for the heart, the brain, the retina, even diseases like alzheimer'